Dudley D Watkins
The D C Thomson artist par excellence, Dudley Dexter Watkins was associated with both the Dandy and the Beano from their very first issues. Such was his reputation that Watkins was the only artist on the Thomson comics who was allowed to sign his work.
Creator of Desperate Dan, Lord Snooty and Biffo the Bear, it didn't matter who his characters were or where they lived, their adventures were still easily recognisable. It wasn't long before the original rationale of each strip was overtaken by Watkins' own predilictions. Dan's Wild West origins and Snooty's aristocratic background were just the launching point for ever more outlandish adventures.
For this reason, it also didn't matter that Dan's Cactusville home was clearly Dundee, complete with street-lamps, post boxes and steam rollers, as his adventures often took him off around the world. Each page could be a mini epic - indeed, each frame could be. Watkins' family strips from the Scottish Sunday Post, the Broons and Oor Wullie, were on a much smaller scale, but make up for this with their warmth and humanity. He also drew adventure stories, and some halfway strips such as Jimmy and his Magic Patch (issue 265, August 25th 1945) and The Shipwrecked Circus.
Sadly, Watkins strips fare badly in terms of their 'political correctness', which makes them difficult for modern audiences to appreciate fully. Racial sterotypes abound, particularly in Desperate Dan. Watkins seemed to have a particular fondness for Chinese mandarins, but Sikhs, Afro-Americans, Mexicans, Eskimos and various other nationalities, with greater or lesser justification for their presence, were constant fixtures.

Watkins died suddenly, at his desk, in 1969. While the Beano employed other artists to take over Lord Snooty and Biffo the Bear, the Dandy, still under original editor Albert Barnes, apparently did not consider doing the same with Desperate Dan. From 1969 right through to 1982, Watkins' work lived on in the form of re-prints of earlier stories.

Fascinating Fact:

Watkins drew for the Beano between the first issue and number 1422. He first signed his name in issue 292 (September 7th 1946), starting with a modest "D.W." on Lord Snooty. The following issue saw the first appearance of the legendary name "Dudley D. Watkins", as well as his first signed Jimmy and his Magic Patch.

Other strips:

Tom Thumb (18th January 1941, issue 130)

Shipwrecked Circus (27th February 1943, issue 200)

Jimmy and his Magic Patch (1st January 1944, issue 222)

Strang the Terrible (9th September 1944, issue 240)

Biffo the Bear (24th January 1938, issue 327)